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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: M/F, Hetfic
Related: adult, slash, gen
See Also: UST, pairing
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Het (heterosexual) is a subgenre of romantic or erotic fanfiction. It can also be used to describe other types of fanworks. The label het generally indicates that a fanwork is focused on a heterosexual relationship or male/female encounter.

The relationship may be stated explicitly or merely hinted at. In terms of ratings, het fanworks can range from hand-holding to graphic sex. If a story is labeled "het," the het pairing contained within may or may not be canon.

Like other such labels, there's a certain amount of subjectivity involved: a story might be labeled gen by one fan and het by another.


The earliest romantic fan fiction -- what would today be called "het" -- were sometimes called "lay" stories (lay-Spock, lay-Kirk, and so forth, also "get 'em laid"). "Lay-Spock" is also found in a transcript of a Star Trek convention panel interview with Devra and Debra Langsam, Joyce Yasner and Sherna Burley, reprinted in the Langsams' Masiform D 3, September 1973. This is possibly the earliest published usage of the term. Camille Bacon-Smith also uses "lay-" in her discussions on romantic fan fiction in her book Enterprising Women.[1]

In zines, the term 'Adult' has often been used for more explicit het content, with non-explicit m/f relationships falling under 'gen'. At times, MPAA film ratings are used, as in the years prior to the age statement and labeling.

Meta/Further Reading


  1. Discussion of early Hurt/Comfort in LJ, and its relationship to "het."